Friday, August 31, 2007
Tonight, we will be parking cars on our lot for the football game going on next door. Our community is starting to realize if they park at C3, they get something for free. Last week in the heat it was water, today it's tootsie pops. Tonight, is the rematch of the State Championship (div 2) game where Pickerington Central (us) lost to Piqua. The only thing good to come out of that game last year was that their runningback is now at Ohio State. This game is bringing some hype to Picktown.
Personally, when I lose in something, I always want a rematch. I want to know if learned anything from the loss. Did it make me better or worse? A rematch is all about adaptation. Can I adapt to their strategy better than my opponent can to mine? At C3, we are all about adaption. How can we adapt the most relevant message in the world (that of Jesus Christ) to make it clear and relevant to the people of East Columbus? That is the question that we will continue to wrestle with till Jesus comes back.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Today while speaking at GCA's student chapel, I challenged the students to "Feed Yourself". I shared how with my kids, there was a process where they move from the bottle to solid food. Also, that someone feeds us and then we slowly learn to not only feed ourselves but prepare our own food. I think we have too many Christians who's spiritual growth has been stunted by a lack of spiritual nutrition. They eat only on Sunday morning which is a second hand revelation. As a pastor when God gives me a Word and I deliver it, it is still 2nd hand. I got it and passed it on. That is good, but it can;t sustain a spiritually growing person much like one meal a week would sustain us physically. As Christians we must learn to find and consume our own food. To get those first hand nuggets of revelation from the Almighty God.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Today, I'm driving back to the church after lunch and the thought just comes in my head to stop at GFS to grab some church supplies. So I go in, and at the checkout see a lady whom I have talked to in the past. She asks about the church and somehow the conversation comes to the point that I am the pastor. She can't believe that I am a pastor. I also told her that I speak in jeans and a cup of coffee in my hand. I can tell that she was intrigued because she asked about classes for her 2yr old. She says she is coming. But the point is, my conversation with God afterward was..."Lord, did you put the thought in my head to stop there, or was it the Chipotle Burrito that jarred my memory. I mean there are times where I feel YOU impressing me to do or say something, but this time I felt nothing. Or did You (God) just use me where I was at the time. Either way, I was used to plant a seed in a ladies heart who needs Jesus. I am learning that truly being led by the Spirit of God, means anywhere, anytime and anyplace, God can and will use the available vessel.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
This week in the mornings, I am speaking at Chapel time for Evangel Christian School. I get to speak to a couple hundred 6th - 12th graders. I can sense a real hunger for more of God. Although it is only day 2 of 5, I can see them continuing to open up for more of God. I really enjoy speaking to teenagers because they keep me sharp. If I'm not "on", they will eat my lunch. I had better be prayed up and come with something to say. I am honored at the opportunity.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Mondays are my day off and I love hanging with my family. Today, I played with my kids in the backyard. My little 2yr old Kali is now moving into that independent stage. "I wanna do it", is her new slogan. She is exploring and climbing and running. (although her run in the same speed as her walk, with only her right arm pumping faster) But independence is a natural thing for our kids to begin to desire and even live out. In our spiritual lives though, it is just the opposite. The more mature I become in my faith, the more dependent I become on Jesus Christ. When this begins to happen, we move from our small paradigms of things WE can accomplish to a complete, new, uncharted realm. God sized dreams! That's the only way I want to live.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Today I sat with 2 young ladies at a coffee shop who both had amazing dreams that were placed on their hearts by an almighty God. I know this because I could just sense it in my spirit. Not only that, but there is no-way they could ever accomplish them without a big GOD. As I sat there, my heart was leaping inside me! To hear other visionaries with dreams to change their world for me is energizing. I continued to pray, "Lord, how can I help them?" I believe that God has placed us on this earth to fulfill our purpose and to help others fulfill theirs. I believe that God is looking for "dreamers" to recieve a vision from His heart and run with it. How about you, are you still dreaming? Is your life focused on fulfilling your God given dream? Find it, guard it, live it!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
It always seems that I am in a hurry to get somewhere or get something done. My parents said even when I was a kid, my line was "me busy". When there is a goal looming in the distance, I have a tendency to keep focused on it and push hard until it is reached. This is true for me with our church, at home, my triathlon training and life. The only problem is that I miss a whole lot of what God is trying to teach me along the way, as well as missing out on much of the joy of the journey. So now that I am in recovery to slow down, I try to purposefully take time to smell the roses, take in the sunsets and truly enjoy this journey that Christ is leading me on.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
We had a big day Sunday with our biggest crowd ever, which was followed by our first ever church picnic. Altogether, it was a great day. I knew we were in trouble when our first service was very low, that our 2nd service was going to be crazy....and it was. Our kids workers had maxed out classes, but pulled it off. During this first year with our C3 Church plant, we are beginning to learn the rythms of our church and it's people. We have the best people on the planet and it is has been an amazing experience linking arms with new friends who are now journeying with us. God is no doubt in this thing.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I'm driving back from a meeting today and realizing that I am a "man on a mission". I have chosen to accept this assignment to make a dent in East Columbus for the name of Jesus Christ. I think God is amazing how He leads me to meet someone who has a friend who needs to plug in a church and they happen to live in my town. I will get their name and number and connect with them. How cool is God to set this entire thing up because He cares for His children. This has happened several times. It is awesome to play my part, "my mission", which fits into God's bigger picture. Are you living your mission out?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Today, I went to Pickerington's Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. As a member of the Chamber, they have been a great asset to us to help connect in our community as a new church plant. There were about 50 other business leaders there, and they did a speed networking luncheon. We ate and then all had business cards ready and sat in chairs facing each other in a half moon shape in 2 rows. They said go, and you each of us had one minute to exchange cards and give your mini presentation. I got to connect with a ton a people in a matter of 30 - 40 minutes. It was gold. I got an interview for a radio station and 2 people who will visit us this Sunday out of it. I also made some great first connections with business leaders in our community. I think as church leaders we must work hard to get out of our offices.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tonight, we meet with our key leaders to cast vision and get their input on our discipleship process that we have been hammering out. When we cast a vision, it is cast as a draft. This gives opportunity for input to bring it to the next level and gives ownership to our people to be a part of it on ground level. We show up with a good idea of where we need to go, but it is still changeable. Every meeting, the plan gets more and more refined. There has been some amazing questions and thoughts that have been brought up which have been implemented in the new process. By casting the vision this way, everyone has input and feels ownership. Vision is then grabbed and ran with by several people rather than just by the leader.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We had an incredible meeting on Sunday with our leadership team that will be the foundation for how our church will move forward. The discussion was on how do we make disciples, and how do we position our church to best accomadate that. If making disciples is our #1 goal, then it must be where we put our time, energy and resources. This is so much tougher than just starting a new program. In fact, we are less than a year old and we already have to nix a couple of "good" things, in order to get the "best" things. We are now in draft #2 and are pitching it before the various leadership groups in our church to get buy-in. It is shaping up to be "CONNECT, GROW, SERVE. The goal is for everyone in our church to know how C3 makes disciples. This will give a learning path for them to follow in order to continue growing. The book "simple church" has been influential along with one of my mentors, Stan Tharp of CLC Dayton. I have been amazed at the lack of a simple discipleship process that even some of larger churches don't have. If you know me, once we get this thing hammered out, anyone is welcomed to what we got.
Today, while driving back to C3 from a $1.78 Taco Bell run, (proof I am a church planter) I saw something that offended me. There were a group of young girls probably 14 - 17 walking down our main street in town where several American flags hang from the light posts. As I look down the road I see one of the girls with one of those flags still on the pole and she throws it in the middle of the road and walks away. I am the first car to come upon it and I pull in a driveway, honk my horn at the girls who quickly walk away, run out and pick it up. Now, I am trying to keep from saying something that is unbecoming of a pastor in their town. But I was angry. When I find myself in situations like this, I tend to think through all the what if's. What if I would have run up to them and "tore into them", what if I could have called fire down from the sky. But I had to ask myself why did that offend me and why do I struggle to just let it go? In this case, it is for patriotism....but in most cases, it is not. It is more like pride or fear.....or both. Anyway...I FORGIVE THEM for what they did today against their country. They probably have no clue that men and woman have and still do give their lives so we can fly that flag.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Today at 5:38am, Gary and I went for a very long run. After an hour and a half, I began to hear squishing sound from my friends shoes next to me. I have never seen a man sweat like this. You would have thought this joker had jumped in a lake. It was so bad, that while running next to him, I began to get sprinkled on my legs. I finally realized that it was coming off my buddy Gary's shoes, shorts and shirts. And I began thinking that we all leak! We leak who we are on all of those around us. We leak what is inside of us. Whether it is good or bad, positive or poison. I also realized that if I don't like what someone is leaking on me, then I can move. On the other side of the coin, I can be intentional at surrounding myself with those who will leak wisdom, positive attitudes and big dreams on me. While at the same time changing what I leak on others. Everyone leaks... so make the best of it.
Today was a huge day for the Assemblies of God fellowship. It was the biannual meeting and today we voted on the top dog of the movement. There was an election and we are now under new leadership. As I reflect on where we (as a fellowship) have been and need to go, I personally have some thoughts on where I feel we should go. But the real question is not what I want... but what God wants. God is in control, and I am so glad that He is. I know on other votes, my candidate did not win. I felt a big mistake was made, but when it all played out, it was the right person in the right place. I know in this case, where thousands of ministers asking God to guide them, cast their vote. I believe God's will was done.
Side note....does that mean that those who did not vote for the winner, miss God? HA!
Side note....does that mean that those who did not vote for the winner, miss God? HA!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Got back around midnight last night from our family vacation to Alabama. This morning I was up early and off to Dayton CLC for the Willow Creek Summit Conference. I am enjoying watching the people of this church serve those who are attending the conference. They are volunteering to serve pastors and leaders for the weekend. They are doing an amazing job. I believe it is of most importance that those at C3 learn to serve. If Christ has changed us....then it's all about "service".
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I have an incredible mother in-law. I have to brag on her for a moment. Who else can say their mother in-law drives a sweet truck, owns a four wheeler, a boat and shoots a deer every year. I think I have the best. The Lord is good!
Point? When was the last time you thanked God for the incredible people that He has brought close to you?
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Be careful what you pray for, because you usually get it, and it's usually not the way you expected to. If you pray for patience, God many times doesn't change your surroundings but rather gives you opportunity to change you. This is usually done by allowing you to face head on what you struggle with. If it is fear, then God will help you walk through fear, etc. 12 hours in a minivan with 3 ADDDDHHHHHDDDDD kids is no doubt a lesson in patience. Thank God He gave us a moment or two of calm before the storm. Ha! Actually, my kids did very well.....but there was some testing of my patience.
Monday, August 6, 2007
This past weekend while at the lake house (trailer actually), I had my mom in-laws neighbor give me an ear full. His heart was in the right place and I thanked him for his care for me and my family. He was slightly drunk (at 10am) and went on and on about how I am too thin and will soon die if I don't gain weight. He said all my tendons and bones were showing and that I am on a path to destruction. I tried to tell him that I eat like a horse and constantly monitor my nutrition, but he would have none of it. Now when people hit me with criticism, I have a couple of points that I run it through.
1. Who said it? - The closer the person is to me, the more I will consider it.
2. Was there a motive? - Did it come from the heart or was their an underlying motive
3. Have others said the same thing? - If more than one person is saying the same thing, I will look at it more seriously.
4. Is there any truth in it? - Sometimes there could be a nugget of truth surrounded by a lot of emotion.
So basically that is my grid that I run all my criticim through. I hope that helps.
And I am NOT TOO SKINNY!.......I'm slender...or mean and lean.....Ha!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Our vacation is going great! We are at my mom's (in-law) trailer on a lake (I call it her lake house)...and she has a pontoon boat and a dock. So our weekend was lived to the fullest by swimming, fishing, inner tubing, and canoeing. But on the canoe....we become PIRATES...Arrrrrrgggghhh. The boys and I explored the lake and some new islands (sandbars really), which we claimed and named after my boys. We would use driftwood, bottles and anything else we could find to make a monument to let other pirates know that this island was ours. We even buried some treasure! I will keep these memories alive in my boys mind for years to come. It is good to just get away with my family.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wow.....there is nothing like a neighbors wireless network. On vacation & spent the night at Keri's grandma's when I open up my laptop only to find 3 bars of internet service! The Lord is good.
Yesterday, after a quick meal at Arby's on our trip down to Alabama, I thought I would help my boys burn off some excess energy, having been couped up in a van for 7 hours. So I had them racing across the parking lot....in their "Crocks". Not good. First, Kaden falls and skins his knee. Keri comes out and is putting a band-aid on it, while Kross and I have one last race. Yeah...you guessed it.....he then falls and is bleeding on the knee as well. Why do things like this happen? I guess that is just life. Sometimes, you just have to put a band-aid on, and keep moving.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
We are leaving this morning for vacation to Alabama to visit Keri's family for a week. My mother in law has a trailor on a lake with a pontoon boat, a dock and a canoe. We will do a lot of grilling, swimming, fishing and boating. (All FREE, as a church planter, you gotta love that) I'm sure me and the boys will use the canoe and take some great expeditions. So I doubt I will be blogging as regularly until next Thursday. So, peace out!